PH military unaware Abu Sayyaf leader Susukan was in Davao City, Lorenzana says
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine military was not aware that Abu Sayyaf leader Idang Susukan, one of the country’s most wanted men, was in Davao City allegedly with Moro leader Nur Misuari, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday (Aug. 13).
Malaysia’s The Star reported that Susukan, who is wanted by police and military for a string of kidnappings and other crimes, was “able to move freely” after turning himself over to Misuari in Jolo last April.
Quoting regional intelligence sources, the news report also said Misuari was expected to meet President Rodrigo Duterte in the next few days.
Misuari, head of one faction of Moro National Liberation Front, allegedly brought Susukan to Davao City to have him fitted with a prosthetic replacement for his left arm, which he lost during a gun battle with the military in Sulu last year, the report added.
Lorenzana said the military’s top commander in Davao City had no official report about the presence of Misuari and Susukan in Duterte’s hometown.
He said he had already talked with the Eastern Mindanao Command chief. “He was also unaware why Misuari and Susukan are together in Davao,” Lorenzana said. “Susukan is wanted by the military,” he added.
“His group killed and beheaded a lot of our soldiers. I am awaiting the official report,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that Susukan’s surrender to Misuari was “not the surrender contemplated under the law and does not make him immune from arrest.”
Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said the military was ready to “provide support” to the regional police office “as it proceeds to serve the warrant for Susukan’s arrest.”
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